- Pandemic survey and returning to classes
- School operations in the 2020‒21 school year
- Student learning in the 2020–21 school year
- Health and safety in schools
- Adapting school operations if necessary
- Riding the school bus
Pandemic survey and returning to classes
COVID-19 survey of students, families and school staff
We conducted a survey to learn more about the impacts of the pandemic on student learning. This survey will help:
- identify what's been most effective during the suspension of face-to-face classes; and
- inform the delivery of instruction for the 2020‒21 school year.
How participants could take the COVID-19 survey
We sent the survey directly to students, families and school staff for them to complete online.
Participants could also complete the survey by phone.
The survey period was from July 15 to July 22, 2020.
We’ll provide the results of this survey to school principals and staff. It will support their work in preparing and planning for the 2020‒21 school year.
We'll conduct follow up surveys during the 2020-21 school year to:
- help plan ongoing instruction; and
- ensure we remain responsive to student learning needs throughout the school year.
School operations in the 2020‒21 school year
School principals and staff will plan their operations to ensure a safe return to school for students and staff while meeting the unique needs and context of school communities and following the:
- Planning for the 2020-21 school year; and
- Guidelines for K-12 school settings set by Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health
Preliminary plan for the 2020‒21 school year
The preliminary plan for the 2020–21 school year includes:
- In rural communities, Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will return to full-day, in-class instruction five days per week.
- In Whitehorse, Kindergarten to Grade 9 students in Whitehorse will return to full-day, in-class instruction 5 days per week. Grades 10 to 12 students will return to half-day in-class instruction and half-day learning away from school 5 days per week. This arrangement for Grades 10 to 12 students will be monitored and assessed as part of planning for the second semester of the school year.
- Resource Programs for students with disabilities, transitions programs and other programs for students needing additional support will continue at school all day every day.
This approach ensures schools are following the health and safety guidelines from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and ensures all students have time and support from their teachers every day and regular routines for learning.
The Department of Education’s central administration is working with school principals and staff to plan their operations. This includes determining how to:
- Implement measures to meet health and safety guidelines for schools;
- Ensure teachers and staff maintain regular and ongoing communication with students, families, school communities and local First Nations governments; and
- How each school would adapt schedules and operations, if necessary.
Planning for the 2020‒21 school year is an ongoing process. Yukon First Nations governments, school councils and education partners will continue to be engaged and their feedback incorporated as planning continues for the 2020‒21 school year.
School principals and staff will share finalized plans for how they will adjust their operations in August before the start of the 2020‒21 school year so students and families know what to expect on the first day back to school.
Temporary school programming relocation
Some school programming needs to be temporarily relocated for the 2020–21 school year to:
- meet the health and safety guidelines for schools;
- support safe spacing; and
- manage traffic flows in schools.
To support safe spacing at FH Collins Secondary, the Grade 8 classes from FH Collins Secondary will be moved to the Wood Street Centre for the 2020–21 school year.
The Wood Street Centre’s programs will move into available space at Porter Creek Secondary for the school year. We do not expect any other groups of students or programs to need relocation.
Learning and the school day
Schools will provide flexible learning environments for students that can be easily adapted based on how students are learning.
Schedules may need to be adjusted and students may not have their regular teacher or same classmates.
Mental health supports will be available for students as they return.
School meal programs will be available for students with health and safety measures and pickup options.
Student learning in the 2020–21 school year
Yukon Continuity of Learning Requirements
The Yukon Learning Continuity Requirements set the priorities and expectations for delivering learning and the curriculum to students in the 2020–21 school year.
This includes guiding the delivery of blended learning in Yukon schools, meeting all students where they are in their learning and adapting school programming and instruction.
School principals and staff will continue to communicate and work with Yukon First Nations governments to deliver Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, doing and being learning as part of student instruction.
Student learning at each grade level
Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will have traditional direct instruction and support from teachers for their learning.
Students in Grades 4–9 will have both face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and digital activities with technology and online tools during the day in class.
Students in Grades 10–12 will learn for the half the day with face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates in school and learn for the other half of the day away from school with digital activities with technology and online tools.
Blended learningAs part of Yukon’s modernized curriculum, teachers and students will continue to use technology as part of learning to develop digital literacy and skills they will need for their lives and careers.For the 2020–21 school year, educators will continue to build these skills with students through blended learning.
What is blended learning?Blended learning combines:
- Face-to-face teaching and learning, where students apply their knowledge, deepen their understanding and demonstrate their learning with their teachers (teacher-led activities, on the land learning opportunities, work stations, labs, etc.);
- Student led learning where students use digital tools to gather information through inquiry, reading, research and work on assignments (online tools, resources, and collaboration);
- Teacher support, instruction and feedback both in person and online; and
- Students learning skills to manage some of their own learning (goal setting, organization, prioritizing, time management, etc.) with some flexibility for the time, place and pace of their learning.
What does blended learning look like?Blended learning will look a little different based on:
Grades K–3 students will:
- Grade level;
- The online and digital tools being used; and
- Students’ learning needs.
Grades 4–9 students will:
- Learn in class at school for full days. As per the curriculum, they will learn at school with more traditional direct instruction and support from teachers for their learning with some digital activities.
Grades 10–12 students will:
- Learn in class at school for full days, with some face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and some digital activities with technology and online tools;
- Work with teachers and classmates both in person and online;
- Participate in project-based learning;
- Learn and develop skills for self-directing some of their learning; and
- Learn how to progress and succeed, with some flexibility and choices to personalize their learning to their strengths and interests.
Examples of digital learning in class and away from school:
- Learn for the half the day in class in school with face-to-face activities with their teachers and classmates and learn for the other half of the day away from school with digital activities, technology and online tools;
- Participate in project-based learning;
- Learn and develop skills for self-directing some of their learning; and
- Learn how to progress with some flexibility and choices to personalize their learning to their strengths and interests.
Examples of hands-on learning away from school:
- Watching instructional videos;
- Discussing a topic online with their class;
- Working on collaborative projects and activities online;
- Completing an assignment on paper or online;
- Engaging in research; and
- Communicating with their teacher to receive feedback or guidance;
- On-the-land learning; and
- Activities such as:
- Building a garden bed;
- Planting vegetables and flowers; and
- Measuring the area of their bedroom or house
Digital tools used for blended learning in YukonStudents will learn, communicate and collaborate with classmates and teachers through digital tools like:
- Microsoft 365 (Teams, OneNote);
- Google Classroom; and
Role of the teacher in a blended learning settingWith blended learning, the teacher is a coach and facilitator of learning. They:
- Lead instruction of curriculum through a variety of methods to teach knowledge, skills and competencies;
- Facilitate deep learning, discussion and collaboration;
- Differentiate and personalize learning for students;
- Assess and provide constructive feedback;
- Look at student data to adjust instructional methods; and
- Coordinate collaborative learning and projects.
Supporting your child’s learning
Parents and guardians may be concerned about their child returning to classes in school. More detailed health and safety guidance for school settings will be provided as it becomes available.
Ensure your child has access to devices, technology and the internet away from school. If you do not have devices for your student to access, please discuss it with your school when school resumes.
Keep in contact with teachers about your child’s learning progress during the year.
Talk to your child about using digital tools and ask them to show you what they are learning on their devices.
Stay up to date on school newsletters and information from teachers about learning and health and safety at your child’s school.
Download the What is blended learning handout
To learn more about blended learning, visit:
- Aurora Institute (formerly called International Association for K–12 Online Learning iNACOL) documents on blended learning:
Health and safety in schools
Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep as many students in classes in schools as is safely possible.
Measures in school will follow the health and safety Guidelines for K-12 school settings set by Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Managing illness and student absences
Students will not be able to attend school if they have symptoms. Parents and caregivers must monitor students for symptoms and keep their child at home if a student has symptoms.
If a child needs to stay home for health reasons, they will have access to digital and self-directed learning options to learn away from school.
Students and staff will need to practice physical distancing in schools. This may include smaller classrooms and group sizes and managing traffic areas in common areas like hallways and cafeterias and staggering pick-up and drop-off times and recess and lunch.
Hand washing and personal hygiene
Students will need to wash their hands before they come to school and frequently during the day.
Cleaning and disinfecting
All schools will be cleaned and disinfected with disinfectants approved by Health Canada. There will be more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas and equipment like washrooms, light switches, door knobs, desk and computers.
Wearing masks will not be required in schools. Wearing a mask is a personal choice. Students and staff can choose to wear a mask while at school.
Adapting school operations if necessary
Our planning for the 2020–21 school year sets the following priorities during the pandemic:
- health and safety of students, staff and school communities;
- learning continuity for all students, with as many students in class as safely possible;
- supports for students who need additional or special assistance;
- supports for children of critical and essential service workers; and
- supports for teachers and support staff to deliver flexible learning to students.
If necessary, the plan for 2020–21 school year includes flexibility to:
- reduce the number of students in schools if there is an increased risk of transmission or a second wave or community outbreak of COVID-19; and
- supplement in-person classes with other learning opportunities if students cannot be in school full-time.
Riding the school bus
School bus services for the 2020–21 school year are being adapted based on the health and safety Guidelines for School Bus Operations set by Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. This includes:
- loading students on the bus from back to front, and offloading students from front to back to support physical distancing;
- seating students at a 2 meters distance from school bus drivers;
- limiting students to 2 per seat, unless they are from the same household and using assigned seats;
- ensuring students and bus drivers are washing or sanitizing their hands before and after boarding the school bus; and
- cleaning and disinfecting buses, including high-touch areas after each trip.
The Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Education encourage families to transport students between home and school this year if possible by arranging for students to walk, cycle, drive or carpool.
Students will be prioritized for busing in the 2020–21 school year if they are eligible for school busing as described in the Education Act and Student Transportation Regulations and are residing outside of a 3.2 km radius of their school and are enrolled in their attendance area school.
School bus routes for Whitehorse schools the 2020-21 school year will be shared on Yukon.ca by August 12. Find a school bus schedule to learn more when routes become available. Rural parents and guardians should contact the school directly for busing options.